God’s Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
1 Kings 16:29—17:7: Today’s reading introduces us to the prophet Elijah, whose name means “the LORD is my God” and who lived in Israel c. 899 to 850 B.C. A prophet was someone who spoke God’s message to the people or to their rulers. Ahab was Israel’s seventh king and considered one of Israel’s worst. Elijah confronts King Ahab because of the king’s sinfulness and predicts that a drought will occur.
King Ahab of Israel
29In the thirty-eighth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for twenty-two years. 30He sinned against the Lord more than any of his predecessors. 31It was not enough for him to sin like King Jeroboam; he went further and married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon, and worshiped Baal. 32He built a temple to Baal in Samaria, made an altar for him, and put it in the temple. 33He also put up an image of the goddess Asherah. He did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than all the kings of Israel before him. 34 During his reign Hiel from Bethel rebuilt Jericho. As the Lord had foretold through Joshua son of Nun, Hiel lost his oldest son Abiram when he laid the foundation of Jericho, and his youngest son Segub when he built the gates.
Elijah and the Drought
1 A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, “In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.”
2Then the Lord said to Elijah, 3“Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. 4The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.”
5Elijah obeyed the Lord‘s command, and went and stayed by Cherith Brook. 6He drank water from the brook, and ravens brought him bread and meat every morning and every evening. 7After a while the brook dried up because of the lack of rain.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Kings 17:5a
Elijah obeyed the LORD’s command.
How is King Ahab described? What sins did he commit? What did Elijah say to the king? Baal, the supreme god of the Canaanites, was the god of fertility of the land and of storm and rain. How does Elijah’s message challenge the power of the Canaanite god? Why was Elijah told by God to hide himself? How did God provide for Elijah? How do you experience God’s provision?
Dear God, thank you for providing me with what I need for today. Teach me to trust in your Word and in your care. Thank you for your steadfast mercy and love. Amen.
1 Kings 17:8-24: The prophet Elijah helps a widow.